Carrying Matters Too Far? Mandeville and the Eighteenth-Century Scots on the Evolution of Morals

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12 (1):95-119 (2014)
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Mandeville offers an evolutionary explanation of norms that pivots on the power of praise to affect individuals. Yet this sort of account is not mentioned by Hume or Ferguson, and only indirectly noted by Smith. Nonetheless, there are various similarities in the thought of Mandeville and these philosophers. After delineating some resemblances, the essay takes up the objection Hume poses to Mandeville: praise fails to motivate if individuals take no pride in moral conduct. To this challenge there is a Mandevillean response that emphasizes how, in the evolutionary emergence of norms, the original praise need not be understood in moral terms



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References found in this work

A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 2003 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
The fable of the bees, or, Private vices, publick benefits.Bernard Mandeville - 1924 - Indianapolis: Liberty Classics. Edited by F. B. Kaye.

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